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Building the infrastructure to track all software source code


Roberto Di Cosmo shares Software Heritage’s mission to collect, index, preserve and make open source software, and source code easily accessible. He explains that Software Heritage enables a wealth of applications to explore, understand, explain and preserve our Cultural Heritage. Software in source code form is produced by humans and is understandable by them; as such it is an important part of our heritage that we should not lose. Software is furthermore a key enabler for preserving other parts of our cultural heritage that we would de facto lose if we lose the software needed to access them. Preserving software is essential for preserving our cultural heritage.

Roberto explains how Software Heritage is building infrastructure to ensure the source code they collect is: availability : the code will be stored, preserved and made accessible on the long term, traceability : each software component will get a unique identifier that can be relied upon in the long term, uniformity : despite the great variety of origins, all of the source code collected in our archive will be accessed through the same uniform API.

Long term preservation efforts cannot be based on black boxes that hide the process behind closed source. This video is relevant for any organization or engineer leveraging Free/Open Source Software.